The summer transfer window will be opening before you know it, and rumours around the world are picking up steam. As always, Transfer Talk has its finger on the pulse when it comes to the latest gossip. See the latest deals here.
TOP STORY: City to pinch Sane from United?
Manchester City are ready to steal a march on rivals United by snapping up the highly rated Schalke winger Leroy Sane, with the Star reporting that Pep Guardiola’s new club will hijack the Red Devils’ deal.
City, of course, have been linked with Sane before, though the report states that United have been watching the player for several months now. City will probably need to move swiftly to beat out United and close a deal for the £30 million-rated German.
Sane, 20, has bagged nine goals in the Bundesliga this term, and Schalke will look to use further competition for his signature from Barcelona and AC Milan to drive the price up to £40m.
Nike deal to fund Chelsea transfer kitty
It all seemed a bit odd when Chelsea abruptly ended their kit sponsorship with Adidas six years early this month, but as ever when Marina Granovskaia is at the negotiating table, the Blues are never far from a good deal.
The Telegraph report that the Blues will pocket a massive £60m per season from Nike in their new kit deal, which will kick in the season after next, ensuring the Londoners remain big players in the transfer market moving forward.
The deal, which would be the second-biggest in the sport after Manchester United’s £75m-per-season deal with Adidas, is likely to enable the Blues to deliver a big-money striker this summer with Napoli’s Gonzalo Higuain or a return to Stamford Bridge for Romelu Lukaku on the cards.
Noise surrounding the signing of Radja Nainggolan fails to go away, and the Telegraph also insist a high-profile centre-back could arrive to bolster Conte’s back four, with Leonardo Bonucci and John Stones under consideration.
Milan knock back Reds’ cheeky offer
AC Milan have immediately rejected Liverpool’s idea of exchanging problem striker Mario Balotelli for their bright prospect M’Baye Niang as the clubs attempt to strike a deal that will allow Super Mario to remain at the San Siro.
Liverpool should perhaps be applauded for at least trying to seize a bargain deal here, but Milan are rightfully aware of the massive potential the French striker possesses after an impressive season. Sky Sport Italia float a £9m valuation for the 21-year-old, which seems on the low side, though still considerably more than Balotelli after a season-long loan to forget.
Niang, whose excellent season came to a halt after a car accident forced him out for a couple of months, has also attracted interest from Spurs, and Liverpool will have to up their offer if they are to bring the former Genoa forward to Anfield as part of any deal that makes Balotelli’s loan permanent.
West Ham bid angers Bournemouth
The transfer window isn’t actually open, and already clubs are falling out regarding their conduct in the market. Eddie Howe was fuming after Bournemouth’s 3-0 defeat to Manchester United on Tuesday night because of West Ham’s bid for Callum Wilson and Matt Ritchie on the eve of their rescheduled match at Old Trafford.
Sky Sports are reporting that the Hammers jumped the gun somewhat with a £25m bid for the Cherries duo on Monday night, which Bournemouth quickly rejected.
It would represent a substantial profit for the Cherries after acquiring Wilson from Coventry City two years ago for approximately £3m, and Ritchie cost a paltry £400k three years back joining from Swindon. It remains to be seen whether Bournemouth will do business now that their final fixture has been completed.
– Leicester will use their newfound stature at the top of European football to lure Ajax forward Arkadiusz Milik to the King Power Stadium with a £15m fee being touted by the Mirror.
The Foxes are keen to bring in attacking talent to support Jamie Vardy and the Polish international’s prolific goal scoring in the Eredivisie — 21 goals in 31 appearances this term — along with his upside to improve because of his youth at 22 years of age make him a perfect fit for Claudio Ranieri.
– Juventus are keen on former Liverpool target Riccardo Saponara to fill the void Massimiliano Allegri has been craving as the trequartista of his side, though Monaco and Arsenal are also keen.
After a fifth straight Scudetto, the Old Lady are keen to strengthen their position at the top, and the 24-year-old, who has been in scintillating form for Empoli this season in Serie A, is the ideal candidate to add some craft and creativity in the final third for the Bianconeri according to Sky Sport Italia.